In Spring 2016, a Gainesville-wide speaker series will invite Florida residents from all backgrounds to share their stories about making Florida home.
Imagining Florida is a five-part series of lectures and discussions from January-April 2016. Talk writing with Gainesville author Lauren Groff at the ACLD Headquarters Branch Library. Unpeel the history of Florida citrus with Gary Mormino at the Matheson History Museum. Feast your eyes on African-Floridian art with Robin Poynor and Patricia Hilliard-Nunn at Santa Fe College. And dust off treasured artifacts from famous Floridians with curators from the UF Smathers Libraries.
Together, these events reveal how we use writing, art, storytelling, and history to shape our lives and communities. Throughout the series, local residents will be invited to contribute their own stories and memories to create a crowd-sourced digital collage of Florida life. Join us to discover what “Florida” means to you and what it might mean to your neighbors.
To join the conversation, find “Imagining Florida” on Facebook.
Imagining Florida is presented by the UF Center for the Humanities and the Public Sphere, Santa Fe College, the Alachua County Library District, the Matheson History Museum, and the UF George A. Smathers Libraries.
A Conversation on Writing with Award-Winning Gainesville Author, Lauren Groff
Saturday, January 9, 2:30 pm- Alachua County District Library, Headquarters
What is distinctive about your home?
Perspectives from fiction and creative writing
Kicking off both Imagining Florida and ACLD’s Author Series is Gainesville’s own Lauren Groff. This fall her third novel, Fates and Furies, burst onto the literary scene with the cover of the Time Sunday Book Review, longlisted for the National Book Award, and was chosen for NPR’s Morning Edition Book Club. The New York Times Book Review read, “Lauren Groff is a writer of rare gifts, and Fates and Furies is an unabashedly ambitious novel that delivers – with comedy, tragedy, well-deployed erudition and unmistakable glimmers of brilliance throughout.” Join Lauren Groff to discuss her work, the writer’s life, and how we can use reading and writing to create a sense of place.
Africa in Florida: A Discussion with Patricia Hilliard-Nunn and Robin Poynor
Wednesday, February 24, 3:30 pm, Santa Fe College, Lawrence W. Tyree Library
Find a “new way of looking” at Florida with Patricia Hilliard-Nunn, African-American Studies scholar and community organizer, and Robin Poynor, art historian and co-editor of Africa in Florida: Five Hundred Years of African Presence in the Sunshine State. Feast your eyes on art created by Floridians of African descent, and explore the traditions that hold together African-American communities in Alachua County. Learn how visual and cultural practices – from sculpture, to cooking, to hair design – can connect our past and present.
Talking Objects, Global Voices: Collecting Florida Treasures with UF Curators
Sunday, March 13, 3:00 pm, University of Florida, Smathers Library (East), Room 100
What are the treasures you collect and hold onto?
Perspectives from curatorial and archival studies
Florida’s past brims with stories of transit: the exiles, migrations, vacations, and homecomings that have shaped our diverse communities. Some of these stories are already forgotten, and some have been faithfully recorded. Many still reside in the things that people carried with them, sent away or left behind. Whether in a family album or a university archive, objects have a lot to tell us. Join curators from UF’s Special Collections as they bring to life some of their favorite Florida things, from the nearly destroyed manuscripts of Zora Neale Hurston, to letters from exiled Madres Cubanas. Learn what our collectibles, and the ways we collect them, can tell us about who we are and where we come from. Hear from Suzan Alteri (Baldwin Library of Historical Children’s Literature), Katalin Rac (Isser and Rae Price Library of Judaica), Florence Turcotte (Literary Manuscripts), and Margarita Vargas-Betancourt (Latin American and Caribbean Collection).
Dream Fruit for a Dream State, or When Alachua County Was a Citrus Power with Gary Mormino
Thursday, April 7, 6:00 pm, Matheson History Museum
What Florida landscapes are important to you?
Perspectives from social history
An iconic fruit, an emblem on state license plates, the orange defined Florida as an American Mediterranean, a modern dream state. Towns, counties, and bowl games have been named for this agricultural product. Crate labels identified Florida with winter’s blessings and place names such as Winter Haven, Frostrproof, and Citra. Dr. Gary Mormino, the Frank Duckwall Professor of History in the Florida Studies Program at USF St. Petersburg, will discuss the history of Florida citrus, and help us consider how the sights, scents, and tastes of Florida shape our lives and landscapes.
THATCamp (The Humanities and Technology Camp)
Saturday, April 23, 8:30 am – 5:00 pm, Santa Fe College, Center for Innovation and Economic Development, 530 W. University Ave.
Details to come; stay tuned!